I feel good. I feel energised. I feel safe. I feel supported.
-Participant J, Southdown Strings Session
Our sessions for mental health enable people to connect through music-making – the primary aim is to promote wellbeing and quality of life.
We currently offer two types of session: in our strings workshops, we provide bowed stringed instruments (violin, viola, and cello) and a framework for people to explore these in a group setting. No previous experience of playing music is required, and the sessions are experiential, non-judgemental, and person-centred; participants are supported to develop their own ideas if they wish. There is a balance of familiar repertoire, improvisation, and co-creation within each session.
We deliver these strings sessions for mental health both as ten-week projects, and standalone workshops, in partnership with Mind in Brighton & Hove, Southdown Recovery Centre, and the Grow Project.
Participants have reported that the sessions have been relaxing, engaging, and inclusive – people feel supported and develop confidence through playing together. Several of our participants have continued playing instruments in group settings as a result of attending our sessions.
We also deliver more general music for engagement sessions, with a range of instruments and a greater emphasis on voice and song; in sessions with Mind in Brighton & Hove we offer a range of instruments and sound sources to explore and experience the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
I enjoyed trying and then being able to play an instrument I hadn’t had the opportunity to play before. I also found the warm up very effective in focusing my mind and the relaxed and encouraging approach of the facilitator enabled us, as a group, to work from naturally where we are at. A thoroughly enjoyable and therapeutic workshop which enabled me to create music using strings, not just emotionally and mentally, but physically, a whole new dimension.
-Participant C of New Note Orchestra